Is your tree getting a little too big and hazardous? Regularly trimming your tree is important for a number of reasons, but doing it yourself can be dangerous, especially if it’s your first time or you don’t have the right equipment.
At Aussie Tree Solutions, we are often asked for our best tree trimming tips. We want to help everyone trim their tree the right way, so here is our ultimate tree trimming guide for beginners:
Why You Need to Trim Your Tree
- Safety – First and foremost, safety is the most important reason as to why you should trim your tree. While trees in your front or backyard can be a great piece of value for your home, they can also be dangerous if not treated properly. Limbs and branches can occasionally die, and these dead pieces can fall off with the slightest brush of the wind. Branches can also sometimes get in the way of utility lines.
- Tree Health – Infected trees can sometimes be brought back to perfect health by cutting away the bad limbs and branches. By thinning away a tree’s crown, you can increase airflow around the tree, adding to its health.
- Its “Look” – Finally, we have to talk about the look of your tree and home. No one wants to have an ugly tree in their yard, and strategically trimming your tree once or twice a year is a good way to keep it looking sharp and healthy.
Before You Begin: Tree Trimming Reminders
- Cut at the Right Time – There are good times and bad times to cut your tree, and this generally depends on when your tree is dormant. Dormant trees have lower risk of attaining pest infestation and disease in their cuts, and trees are generally dormant in the winter. Cutting in the winter is also great for promoting vigorous growth during the spring. For areas with harsher winters, it’s best advised to wait until the worst has passed.
- Gather the Right Tools – Tree trimming is a serious task, and doing it without the right tools will only make it more difficult and more dangerous. This should include hand pruners, safety glasses, harnesses, and professional tree trimming saws with attachments if necessary.
- Plan Your Cut – Before you climb up the tree and begin, make sure to plan your route and know what you’re going to do from start to finish. Take a while beforehand to study your tree, understand the placement of the branches and limbs, and figure out the safest way to cut branches without disturbing the rest of the tree, or any utility lines that might be around it. And of course, make sure to clear out any items that might be beneath the tree.
Simply put, all of these tips above boil down to safety. Tree trimming can be a hazardous job and trying to do it without knowing and having everything you need is just asking for trouble. Keep yourself and everyone around you safe at all times.
Tree Trimming Techniques
It’s important to trim and prune your tree properly, to limit the risk of pest infestation and disease growth. This is done by cutting your branches properly, as the wounds on a tree will grow calluses that protect it from rot, infestation, and more. With proper trimming techniques, you can make sure the callus surrounds the entire wound. Here’s how:
- Find the Branch Collar – Before you cut off a branch, trace it back to its branch collar, or the exact area where it connects to the trunk of the tree. This area is a thicker circle of bark, right before the branch juts out. You will want to cut right above the branch collar; if you damage it, the callus won’t form properly, leaving your tree susceptible to issues.
- Cut Downward – Always cut your tree’s branches at a downward angle. This prevents water from seeping into the wounds, which could potentially lead to rotting. This also means you should avoid removing upward-growing branches.
- Don’t Leave Behind Too Much – First-time tree trimmers might feel that it’s right to leave behind a few inches of a branch, to avoid damaging the collar and to promote healthy growth. But the truth is, a branch should be removed completely, not partially. By leaving behind a stub that is too long, the callus will be unable to form properly and cover the entire wound. Cut right above the branch collar, leaving behind no part of the branch.
Step-By-Step Tree Trimming Help
When you want to trim your tree, it’s important to do certain tasks in order, maximising safety and efficiency. After assessing the tree, preparing your equipment, and keeping the area safe, here are the steps to take when trimming your tree:
- Start with the suckers: Your tree’s suckers are the weakest and smallest branches growing from the base. Suckers generally can’t grow into desirable, thick branches, and only make it more difficult for the tree to grow by sapping away its energy and nutrients. These are small and easy to see, so start off by removing these.
- Dying and dead branches: After suckers (or alongside them), remove the dying and dead branches. These branches should be relatively easy to cut off. But remember – start from the top, so that you don’t end up causing a higher branch to fall on top of you.
- Hazardous and dangerous branches: Now it’s time to take on the undesirable, dangerous branches. These include low-hanging branches, branches hanging over your roof, and branches that could fall onto your car or over the sidewalk. If there are any branches near utility lines, don’t handle these yourself. Call a professional or call the utility company.
- Crossing branches: With most of the bad branches now removed, it should be easy to see any remaining healthy crossing branches, or branches that overlap each other. You will want to cut out the less healthy branch, as crossing branches can damage each other.
Do It the Safe Way: Hire a Professional
While DIY tasks can always be rewarding, tree trimming tips aren’t enough to ensure that you can keep yourself safe and secure during your task. That’s why Aussie Tree Solutions is here to help you with all your tree removal, lopping, and pruning needs.
Our professional tree specialists have serviced clients around the Brisbane area for over three decades, and know everything there is to know when it comes to properly trimming and pruning trees. Keep yourself safe and save yourself the hassle of preparing special equipment by giving us a call.
Contact us today and ask for an obligation-free quote on your tree trimming needs!